Thirteen Maryland hospitals participated alongside local fire and rescue officials in the response to a mock terrorist attack in the D.C. Metropolitan area Wednesday morning.
As a part of Capital Shield 2012, the exercise tests the region's ability to respond to a mass casualty terrorist attack.
"The goal of the exercise is to measure surge capacity from a medical perspective for the EMS providers as well as hospitals participating," Assistant Police Chief Scott Graham said.
The chosen disaster scenario was a mustard gas explosion somewhere in Montgomery County, according to a Holy Cross Hospital spokesperson. The purposefully unspecified location allowed different county hospitals to tailor the disaster situation to their area.
"[The hospitals] are going to be getting an inordinate amount of patients all of a sudden," Graham said. "They’re going to have to chemically decontaminate them using their staff and our staff and they're going to have to continue with the triage and treatment process that we’ve already begun."
The test began at the Montgomery County Fire Rescue Training Academy in Rockville where actors were moulaged or made to look like they have injuries ranging from no injury whatsoever to critical or life threatening.
From there, the "patients" were evaluated in triage before police and rescue officials began to load them onto mass transit ambulance buses heading to various hospitals in the region.
The drill is evaluated in part by the University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security, with a focus on the 13 participating hospitals, CHHS Senior Law and Policy Analyst Megan Timmins said.
"The part we'll be looking at today is how effectively our first responders triage patients, transport them to area hospitals, and how those hospitals receive the mass casualty patients and manage their movement within their hospitals," Timmins said.
Participating hospitals included:
- Suburban Hospital
- Holy Cross Hospital
- Shady Grove Adventist Hospital
- Montgomery General Hospital
- Washington Adventist Hospital
- Doctors Community Hospital
- Fort Washington Medical Center
- Southern Maryland Hospital Center
- Calvert Memorial Hospital
- Civista Hospital
- Laurel Regional Hospital
- Prince George's Hospital Center
- St. Mary's Hospital